Epilogue, 2 of 2

The last of about 68 thousand words of my next novel. What began as just a writing experiment to get to know some of the imperial families better once again took on a life of its own. When these people want a story told, I’ve learned over seven years that I’ve little say in the matter.

I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing this story come in being along with me. Recording audiobooks and making a Machine Civilization wiki are my priorities for this fall but it’s not as if I won’t do a little writing. In fact, late last night I saw this scene where Aurelia, now 29-years-old and the leading general of the imperium looks back at her own life. In disgust. I wonder…

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Epilogue, 1 of 2

The raw MS of “Imperium’s Shadow”* is complete. Here’s the first of the two-part conclusion. Toward my ‘trying something different for each book,’ breaking this story into three has allowed to write three novellas which are held together by their familial relations. Didn’t really see that when I began this writing exercise but in hindsight rather clever of me.

* I have conclusively decided that working title will NOT be on the cover. It implies a darkness which simply does not exist in the story. I’m open to suggestions for those who’ve been following along all these months. Faustina’s Packhorses? Empire’s Children? Empress’ Agents?

I really don’t know right now.

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Midwife

For long time readers, crises do not last long in my stories; part of my terse style or maybe I just want people talking again? Kira lives and once getting herself back in mind lays out to her family and friend where things are going next. Her brother and sister are, I think, taken aback by this and there will likely be a huge argument in coming installments. Laszlo? Between being a demi and under his mother’s thumb I suspect a broad and deep streak of fatalism which could only be described as “Russian.”

I like nurse Green’s little throw-away line about “Viscount Breazeale is my lord.” Something even I struggle with in stories set so far in the future is feudalism. While both RealWorld sides of my family are older than the American Republic, arriving around 1766 and 1739, respectively, they were obviously a cantankerous lot very bloody-minded about setting up a new home away from aristocratic interference. Now, nearly 300 years later, that is discarded for the personal loyalty of a neo-feudal system to demi-humans and machines tasks my imagination sometimes.

I am hoping Les’s concluding words will be the segue to my next podcast – about religion – coming out late Friday or early Saturday. Please everyone have a good weekend!

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Emergent Behavior

August! I swear yesterday was March. I’ve written ahead a bit and hope to keep these MS sketches updates coming. As it is, what remains of my family is off on another vacation in northern Louisiana so I shall devote my time off to try to complete the raw audio for “Foes and Rivals.” Speaking of which, I got my first customer review of “Friend and Ally.” I was, honestly, expecting at best three stars; after all, I am not a professional voice actor and my audio editing skills are that of a novice. So this was a surprise!

Back to the royals in space: not wanting to give the book an ADULT rating, I gloss over Laszlo’s and Nikita’s “moment.” Of more interest, as Les sees, is that now light-minutes away from Earth, android-Reina breaks contact with her greater self. But, as machines think so much faster than humans, her portable form is already… changing. I really wonder what shall become of her.

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Vacuum sucks

A bit more into the characters onboard Lionheart: girls in their underwear and men kissing. I had no idea I was such a degenerate author. As I sus’d from the beginning of this writing project, if I look away for just a moment, Reina will take over the entire story.

In this and what y’all will see later, it is interesting to me that while of the same class (a concept hard for most Heritage Americans) the royals have things they take for granted and things which, being from opposite sides of the Earth, are a complete puzzle to one another.

Additionally, I introduce, still offstage, a new character: Aqua. A Machine from tribe Arpeggio and apparently personally interested in the Martian terraforming project. Why is he?

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Stemma

That means family tree to you heathens out there. Given how I am older about the characters in my current MS under works, I literally cut and pasted together a new stemma of the next generation of humans (and demi-humans) in Machine Civilization. I should have more of the royals’ trip to Mars out later today.

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Playing Roles

We learn a little more about the Russian imperial children – adult children – who will be on this Martian Holiday. There’s already drama from the youngest but they seem to be getting on. They’d better: trapped in a tin can for a week.

I’ve got a lot on my plate again for the second half of the summer, more of this story, finishing recording and editing of “Foes & Rivals,” as well as my podcasts. Going to my DayJob is now just an annoyance.

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Vodka and Caviar

Firstly, an apology: tomorrow’s Podcast will be delayed, likely until late Friday evening. I took notes about what I wanted to talk about and even took the laptop into the quiet corner of my basement to record… and sighed. Covering 4000 miles by plane and car over last weekend, then getting tossed into unexpected tasks at DayJob (a colleague was ill so I had to cover) meant that I’m just not up to what y’all hopefully expect of my weekly banter. Before moving on, I will leave you this: the topic is a question from a listener: “What if the [Machines] had been made in China?” I had a glib answer, but the more I thought about it, the more complicated the subject became, so look forward to my discussion later tomorrow!

In the meantime I introduce some new characters below the fold, as we get ready for this Martian Holiday.

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Along the Neva

After a very short flight, followed by a contested parking spot, Laszlo finds himself walking along the southern branch of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. I’ve never been there but have heard from many that it is a beautiful city. Someday, when my books are optioned into movies, I’ll take a chartered flight; commercial flights are more and more a dry-run for slavery.

As you will shortly see, the PM of Imperial Russia, Reina, stomps onto the stage. First among equals of tribe Mendrovovitch and possibly the most dangerous of all Machines, she also attacks my stories like kudzu: taking over and displacing everything which was already there. And from the last line below the fold, it seems she is in for most of this part of the novel. Oh, well. What can I do?

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Inspection

Just back from a grueling 3-day weekend: flight to St. George, Utah via Phoenix, followed by a 1944-mile drive back to central Ohio. All to retrieve Daughter #1 from her five week internship at Best Friends Animal Shelter. To her credit, she impressed them so much that they said they would hold a slot open for her next summer if she wants in. She is thinking about it. That’s my girl!

Below the fold is a short update to Prince Laszlo’s story. Knowing this would be a hard weekend, I only took a few notes and mostly watched the movies in my mind about what comes next. I think I saw about two chapters worth. This is going to be very political.

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